Lavish Bell pensions to be paid by other cities

According to pension experts, cities across Southern California will be on the hook for the pensions paid to municipal officials in Bell, where excessive salaries led to a recent purge of city leaders.

More than half of former city manager Robert Rizzo's $600,000-a-year pension will be paid by taxpayers in 140 small cities and special districts that are in the same pension liability pool.

In the case of former police chief, Randy Adams, Bell is only responsible for 3 percent of his estimated $411,300-a-year pension under CalPERS, the state's public employee retirement plan. Taxpayers in Glendale, Simi Valley and Ventura would have to pick up the rest.

Critics of the state's pension system are pointing to the scandal as an example of why the CalPERS should be overhauled.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.